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LinkedIn: The only social stock that matters

July 30, 2012: 12:42 PM ET

LinkedIn (LNKD) has more than doubled from its initial public offering price. It's even up more than 10% from its first day closing price. Facebook (FB)? Not so much.

When LinkedIn, aka the social networking site that actually has a diverse revenue stream, reports its latest earnings on Thursday, investors are clearly hoping that the company's hot streak will continue.  Check out how well LinkedIn has fared compared to its rivals in the Global X Social Media Index ETF (SOCL).

But can LinkedIn avoid the earnings curse that has befallen Facebook, Zynga (ZNGA), Groupon (GRPN) and other recent social IPOs? What's more, even if Facebook has a strong quarter, can it possibly be strong enough?

Analysts are predicting a year-over-year revenue increase of nearly 80% -- compared to a more pedestrian top-line growth rate of 32% for Facebook. Wall Street is also forecasting a whopping 60 percent surge in earnings per share. But should LinkedIn change its name to PricedIn? The stock is valued at a stunning 150 times 2012 earnings estimates.

Amazingly enough though, several StockTwits users are not willing to jump off the LinkedIn bandwagon just yet.

RedDogT3Live: $LNKD is proving it's case that it can be separate from $FB. If company delivers this qtr. It will be on it's way to year highs

Doozio: $LNKD. "smart bears" think it will implode on earnings this week. Mr Mkt sucking them in with $FB $ZNGA blowups. 120-130 friday close IMO

That may be asking for a lot. $130 would not only eclipse the all-time intraday high Facebook set on its first day of trading in May 2011, it would also be nearly 30% above current levels. Earnings would have to be phenomenally better than forecasts ... and so would guidance. One StockTwits user sarcastically noted though that it's tough to fight momentum.

ChicagoPhotoSho: so everyone expecting another blowout qtr from $LNKD ? this thing above $100 seems cray. but then again, $AMZN is going to $1000

Ha! Thank you, Mr. Blodget. Anyway, Amazon (AMZN) only has to go up another 325% or so to get to quadruple digits. So sometime in mid-2013 perhaps?

Kidding aside, LinkedIn does probably deserve some sort of premium. (So does Amazon for that matter.)

Related: Where LinkedIn is heading next

The beauty of LinkedIn is that it generates revenue from fees as well as ads. And people that use LinkedIn most effectively are often doing so because they are trying to find the best candidates for jobs or for other networking opportunities.

howardlindzon: Just noticed the new LInkedIn web design...LOVE IT ...(biased and long) $LNKD...consistently makes magic happen for me

johnsontrading: @howardlindzon agree with your thoughts on $LNKD - stickier than $FB? We don't need$FB but do need $LNKD for networking these days

In other words, LinkedIn isn't the leisurely time suck that Facebook can be. Maybe Zynga should launch Resumes With Friends?

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Paul Lamonica
Paul R. La Monica
Assistant Managing Editor, CNNMoney

Paul R. La Monica is an assistant managing editor at CNNMoney. He is the author of the site's daily column, The Buzz, and also tweets throughout the day about the markets and economy @LaMonicaBuzz. La Monica also oversees the site's economic, markets and technology coverage.

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